Graduate studies at Western
History and Philosophy of Logic 29 (1):63-81 (2008)
|Abstract||It is controversial whether Wittgenstein's philosophy of mathematics is of critical importance for mathematical proofs, or is only concerned with the adequate philosophical interpretation of mathematics. Wittgenstein's remarks on the infinity of prime numbers provide a helpful example which will be used to clarify this question. His antiplatonistic view of mathematics contradicts the widespread understanding of proofs as logical derivations from a set of axioms or assumptions. Wittgenstein's critique of traditional proofs of the infinity of prime numbers, specifically those of Euler and Euclid, not only offers philosophical insight but also suggests substantive improvements. A careful examination of his comments leads to a deeper understanding of what proves the infinity of primes|
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